Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bronte: Mission Successful

After a year full of tensions and stresses, but also of gratifying rewards, it was a pleasure to take part in this final challenge of the year. It was a time to reflect on our successes and our stumbles, and the quiet pride that comes with saving the world on a monthly basis.

Having no store-bought sticker paper on hand, nor, as it turned out, the glue required to make my own sticker paper, I had to resort to using packing tape as adhesive. And while this will likely not last far beyond the next Sydney rain (scheduled for this weekend), I felt it would do its job. Sure, it's not as polished looking as Gibson-US's amazing effort, but in this game, you sometimes have to be rough and ready.

Owing in no small part to the fact that our end of the challenge was to take place at 6:25 in the morning (yes, the morning), my wife and able-bodied photographer, Hayley, and I arrived at Gibson St, Bronte, with mere minutes to spare. But a hasty, yet efficient, application of the packing tape left just enough time to spare.

At the precise minute, I fell to my knee and applied the sticker to the pole, completing the GvsG circuit, and bringing much needed end of year intercontinental relief.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fully Charged in Lynwood, WA

Seattle is a great city, however it lacks one key element that would make it super great -- a street named Gibson. My precursory search on Google Maps found that the closest Gibson street was about 20 minutes north of Seattle in the disorienting and diabolical town of Lynnwood, WA. But I was not deterred. Being the courageous adventurer that I am, I gathered my team of assistants and we braved the strip malls and traffic cameras of Lynnwood on the way to the solitary redeeming place within its city limits -- Gibson Rd.

We hadn't gone far along Gibson Rd. when we realized that there might be a problem -- all of the signs were attached to wooden poles! How was I supposed to attach a sticker and complete the circuit on a wooden pole? Just when we thought all was lost, we came to a stop sign at the corner of Gibson Rd. and Admiralty Rd. that used a metal pole. It was a busy intersection fraught with danger -- a woman walking a pug, kids on bicycles, and an exotic car business with a Lamborghini parked out front. Nonetheless, at 11:25 on the second I knelt before the street sign and placed the sticker on the pole. Just as I felt a surge of energy enter my body, I also realized that the sticker did not want to stick to the freezing metal pole. It was only through intense focus and precise pressure that I managed to get the sticker to cling to the pole.

Afterward, I felt renewed, refreshed, recharged and ready to take on 2010. Assuming we don't screw anything up too bad, next year should be filled with universal harmony and personal serenity for each and every one of you. Just leave it to us…

Sunday, December 27, 2009


It has been a trying year. The constant pressure to keep our world from exploding, imploding, dissolving, veering, shrinking, etc. has sapped us of our strength. The countless hours spent researching, calculating, consulting and postulating has drained us of our energy. But fear not! The Gibsons intend to continue their noble pursuit despite the immense physical and mental toll. In preparation for the challenges that lay ahead in 2010 it is imperative that we both recharge our systems. This will be accomplished by executing the following task:

1) Each prepare a 4" wide sticker. Gibson-US's sticker will read "G v" and Gibson-OZ's sticker will read "s G".
2) Locate a street named Gibson and stand next to its street sign.
3) At precisely 19:25 GMT on Tuesday, December 29th (11:25 for Gibson-US and 06:25 on Wednesday the 30th for Gibson-OZ) kneel before the street sign and affix the sticker to the pole.
4) Document the event with photo and/or video.

If all goes as we expect, our simultaneous contact with the Gibson street signs will complete a Gibson circuit, bringing us both a much needed dose of energy and perhaps a small electric shock. Due to the intense electrical currents involved in this event you may notice your hair standing on end for a short period of time after the event. Don't be alarmed! This is normal and should wear off in a couple of hours. In the meantime we suggest that you wear a hat.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Two Men — One Beard

First of all, I apologize if I am repeating any of Gibson-OZ's post. I have refrained from reading his post so as not to influence mine.

As you can see from the photo above, we were successful in the impeccable execution of yet another highly technical challenge with the weight of the universe on our shoulders. It's a good thing everything went according to plan because, as I'm sure you noticed, things were getting a bit out of control before the challenge. We even witnessed firsthand the dangerous effects of both Gibsons occupying the same hemisphere when I plugged in the hair clippers and was confronted with a flash of light and a loud pop. Fortunately I was not injured, but my clippers suffered irreparable damage.

The rest of our preparations went without a hitch and before we knew it we were seated at the Kangaroo and Kiwi eying a pint glass of 2/3 Fosters and 1/3 Coors Light. Our wives/photographers were joined this time by a technical supervisor (thanks, Sarah) to ensure that everything was in order. I must say, that as our freshly shaved cheeks touched there was electricity in the air — the electricity of saving the world from total chaos and mass confusion! And when we took that first sip of specially blended macro lager it was like drinking down the insecurities and fears of an entire species. (FYI: fear and insecurities taste pretty vile.) As expected, the power of our mutual beard was just enough to stabilize the wobbly rotation of the earth and keep it on course... at least for now.

In closing I'd like to wish everyone in the states a Happy Thanksgiving. You don't have to thank us when you say grace at the table, but it probably wouldn't hurt.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Close Shave

Traveling out of the southern hemisphere was always going to be risky, but as the hour of this latest challenge approached, the sobering gravity of the situation hit home.

To mentally prepare for the event, my wife and able-bodied assistant drove to the wastes of Mukilteo to collect Gibson-US from his place of employment. On the journey back to civilization, we discussed the plan of attack, including the acquisition of razors, which I had neglected to pack in my suitcase.

Having collected the razors, Gibson-US and I adjourned to various bathrooms to prepare our faces. This seemingly simple act was nearly derailed by a dramatic event, which I will leave to Gibson-US to document, seems as he was the one directly in harm's way.

The shaving portion of the challenge complete, we made our way, documentarians/wives in tow, to the Kangaroo and Kiwi on Hwy 99 for the formal execution. Upon entering, I was relieved to see that the decor of the place was very much like your comfortable, suburban Aussie sports bar, rather than the car crash of boomerangs and life size Paul Hogan cut outs I was expecting. We selected a suitable table and proceeded to order the beer, consisting of 1/3 Coors Light and 2/3 Fosters.

Surprisingly, neither the bartender, nor the patrons batted an eye at either our lopsided facial hair or the drain clearing beer combination we ordered. I suspect that due to the growing gravitational imbalance, they were all feeling a little lopsided themselves.

At the appointed hour, Gibson-US and I pressed the newly denuded portions of our faces together, forming a superb double beard, and bravely imbibed the amber concoction, thereby correcting the global imbalance.

While it was essential for the fate of the Earth and all its denizens, it is safe to say that at no future point will I be ordering a Coors Light/Fosters combination. Thankfully, the Kangaroo and Kiwi also serve Bundaberg Ginger Beer, which I used to take the curse off.

As you were.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

When Worlds Collide

In the entire recorded history of mankind, it has only ever happened thrice. But at 0237 GMT on Tuesday, November 24th (1837 on Monday in Seattle, 1337 on Tuesday in Sydney), the Gibsons will come together in the same hemisphere, combining their energy in a Voltronesque fashion, for a massive push against what may possibly be a diabolical threat.

Over the past week, you may have experienced sleeplessness, a slight loss of equilibrium, or a strange compulsion to drive on the wrong side of the road. All of these symptoms could be linked to odd readings we have been picking up from our instruments, ever since Gibson-Oz's departure from the southern hemisphere. While there is no cause for immediate panic, we believe our data to be tracking the early stages of a hemispherical imbalance which, much like a cricket ball given shine on one side by a keen swing bowler, may indicate that the earth is poised to spin off its axis.

To counteract this imbalance, the Gibsons have calculated that they must execute the following challenge:

1) Being bearded, they must shave 1/3 of their whiskers (Gibson-Oz must shave his right side, Gibson-US must shave his left).
2) They must meet in Seattle, at the Kangaroo and Kiwi.
3) They must together order a beer, consisting of 2/3 Australian beer and 1/3 American beer.
4) At the appointed hour (GMT 0237), they must push their faces together, forming an uber beard for increased hemispherical resistance, while simultaneously drinking through straws from the mixed beer.

If all goes well, you should immediately notice a slight drop in wind velocity and/or barometric pressure, followed by a small, yet discernible, sensation of ease.

Please NOTE: As I'm sure you've noticed, the fractions in this challenge are not divided evenly. This is to counteract the vulnerability of the Southern Hemisphere and Australia in particular, given Gibson-OZ's absence. Our data indicates that if we were to shave 1/2 of our beards Australia could spontaneously dissolve into the Indian Ocean. Likewise, if we were to mix our beer with 1/2 Australian and 1/2 American the consequences would be dire. Extremely dire.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

No Ghosts In Victoria

Having travelled a ways out of Melbourne for a buck's weekend with some hard drinking friends the night before this challenge, constructing a costume was not the simplest of goals. But, as the morning fog (both literal and figurative) began to clear, some helpful suggestions came forth and a fantastic costume was hastily assembled.

The Seattle (or, indeed, Seatle) sign was constructed from an eviscerated beer carton.
Fifteen minutes before the challenge was due to be executed, we headed down to Great Ocean Road to prepare the costume. Several locals watched from their ocean view balconies, some offering encouraging wolf whistles and saucy comments.

Being a foggy Saturday morning, there was not a great deal of passing traffic, but at the appointed hour, I dutifully extended a thumb and busted my finest moonwalk. The roadside gravel was well suited to this most excellent of bipedal acts, allowing for smooth movement.

Alas, no cars passed while I was moonwalking, but I did remain by the side of the road long enough to be passed by several cars. Some even honked and waved in support of this vitally important challenge. None stopped to offer a lift, but it was clear that all were appreciative of the lengths gone to to ensure a safe and poltergeist free day.

Poltergeist-Free in the Northern Hemi

I must say, it's extremely satisfying to do your part to thwart the efforts of poltergeists. Allow me to relay the events leading up to the successful completion of the mission.

I made the costume the day before the event. Rather than come up with an entire ensemble, I decided to focus on accessories. The foil cane was fairly easy to make. The giant hat, however, was a bit more challenging. After a couple of failed attempts, I enlisted the help of my kind and patient wife who was instrumental in shaping the final design. The rest of my attire was just meant to give context to my fancy accessories. I also must mention the shoes. The hideous, silver monstrosities I was wearing are perhaps the ugliest footwear in the history of civilization. Believe it or not they are basketball shoes — strange, bulbous, space-age basketball shoes made by Adidas for Kobe Bryant in 2002. I am certain that there are no better shoes for moonwalking than these.

On the day of the challenge, my wife and I walked toward North 85th Street with trepidation. The weather was extremely blustery. Would my hat be able to withstand the powerful gusts? As the countdown began, I donned the hat and at the strike of 17:08 began my moonwalk. Fortunately, the wind remained calm and the challenge went off without a hitch. Unfortunately, I was not offered a ride to Melbourne, Australia. Too bad, because I would have been willing to pay a few bucks for gas.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Greetings fellow inhabitants of Planet Earth,

In less than a month our great planet will experience a magnificent and potentially catastrophic event that will undoubtedly have a profound effect on each and every one of you. As usual, we've crunched the numbers, extrapolated the variables and divided everything by pi. To our surprise, the data indicates that we must meet in the Northern Hemisphere. That's right, Gibson-OZ and Gibson-US will temporarily occupy the same time zone. We know it sounds crazy, but it's a chance we have to take.

But, before we get ahead of ourselves, there is one more challenge to be completed before Gibson-OZ boards that fateful jet to the US. Our poltergeist detectors indicate that this year on All Hallows Eve an army of disgruntled spirits intends to do all manner of mischief, including but not limited to, disabling street lights, knocking over garbage cans and eating the spleens of children. In order to combat this horrendous horde we must execute the following challenge:

1) Fashion a crude costume out of newspaper and aluminum foil (kyrptonite for poltergeists).
2) Make a hitchhiking sign, featuring the other Gibson's location (Gibson-OZ will be in Melbourne, AUS)
3) At precisely 0:08 GMT on October 31st, while wearing the costume, moonwalk next to a busy street, while holding the sign and extending a thumb.
4) Document the event with photo and/or video.

If all goes according to plan your Halloween will be pleasant and poltergeist-free. Oh and one final note: The owls are not what they seem.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Southern Hemisphere Spared...Literally

If there is one thing I have learned from this challenge, it's that bowling alleys ain't what they used to be. If Strike Bowling Bar at Fox Studios in Sydney is anything to go by, bowling alleys are now a great place to kick on of a Saturday morning, once your favourite dance club has closed - loud music, video screens everywhere, low lighting, comfortable booths and a bit of smashed food on the carpet. In fact, if it weren't for the hoards of pre-teens tearing around, corralled unsuccessfully by the occasional haggard looking parent/guardian, I would've been tempted to whip my shirt off and have a dance on the nearest table.

Anyway, I arrived at the venue with my video documentarian (a.k.a. my wife) and my stills photographer (our next door neighbour) at 1150. After slipping on our space age bowling shoes (mine on the wrong feet, of course), we proceeded to our lane.

I selected a ball with an 11 on it, representing the equal halves of this challenge. I was also wearing a blue bowling style shirt to mark the occasion.

As the clock ticked over to 1202, my documentarians activated their devices and I propelled my ball down the lane. The release of the ball felt good and my ball-side foot seemed to instinctively swing around behind the other in a classic 'I know what I'm doing here, I bowl all the time' action. Note also the woman in the video clip on the right, seemingly cheering the ball on. It was a charmed moment.

The ball continued straight and true right up to the last, and ultimately felled 7 of the 10 pins.

Mainly to complete the challenge, but also a little bit to celebrate this most unlikely of results, I fell to the floor and busted what could accurately be described as one of the most ungainly backspin of all time. In doing so, I strained at least 5 muscles in my back. Indeed, as I write this, my right hamstring and left hip are still in shock.

Alas, it was discovered after this most physically destructive of challenges that the video taking machine failed in its operation. Thankfully, the trusty camera did its thing and we are able to bring still images to you.

For the statisticians out there, my next ball knocked over the remaining pins, giving me a spare. The next frame also produced a spare, but the following 8 frames saw some of the most mediocre action ever to grace the lanes. I ended up with a total score of 80, but played my part in correcting the earth's spin and thus the time anomaly.

Challenges Met, Obstacles Overcome

Most people that show up to Kenmore Lanes on a Friday evening are looking to have a little fun and unwind from a long week of work. I however, was there for business. Little did they know that the man in lane 48 was there on a mission. A mission that would have a major impact of each and every one of their Miller High Life drinking lives.

Upon arrival I secured a lane, laced up my shoes and chose a serviceable, 14 pound house ball with a swirling pink pattern. My wife and camerawoman then brought over two oat sodas to ease our tension as the time drew near. We nonchalantly bowled a few frames, as if nothing extraordinary were about to happen, and then with 5 minutes until the appointed time we began our preparations. First, I removed my shoes and put them on the opposite feet. Next we framed the shot and took a test video to ensure that our equipment was in working order. Finally I stepped onto the hardwood, pink ball in hand, and awaited the countdown.
The pressure was immense. As I stood there I realized that I had neglected to practice with this awkward shoe configuration. I'd also learned through some last minute calculations that rolling a gutterball could wreak havoc on the Earth's orbit, sending us hurtling into space away from the sun. Add to that the distraction of a small boy kicking his bowling ball in the lane next to me and you can understand my concern.

With two seconds until the appointed time, I made my approach, releasing the ball at precisely 19:02 PST. I could immediately tell that the ball was not headed for the gutter and despite being a bit left of center it managed to dislodge 7 pins. But I had no time to celebrate as it was now time to speed the Earth's rotation by executing a precise backspin. As you can see in the video, my awkward backspin achieved exactly one revolution which, despite its apparent failure, was actually the exact speed and rotation required for the proper adjustment to the Earth's rotation.

Having succeeded in my half of the mission I finished the game, posting a very respectable (for me) 128 total score. But it's not all about me (or Gibson-OZ). The real winner here is mankind. We are only answering our calling — fighting against the forces that threaten to disrupt order in the universe, humble servants to the greater good. Amen.

Monday, September 21, 2009

(No) Time To Spare


Mounting data compiled by ourselves, in conjunction with the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, appears to indicate a growing menace from forces almost beyond our control - time itself.

Boiling down a complex model to simple terms, it goes something like this: for the past several decades, leap seconds have been quietly introduced to compensate for the fact that the earth's rotation speed is diminishing. And while theoretical proposals and conceptual remedies have been on the international table for some time, no real action has taken place.

Well, it's time to end the inaction.

On Saturday, September 26th (GMT), the Gibsons will take the following steps to speed up the earth and put an end to international debate:

1) Having secured a lane at bowling alleys in Seattle and Sydney, we will ensure our bowling shoes are worn on the opposite feet to those intended. This will ensure that both hemispheres are in sync for a short period (Seriously, it will. We've done the math).
2) At 0202 GMT (1202 on Saturday in Sydney, 1902 on Friday in Seattle), we both bowl a ball (representing the earth) at a full rack of 12 10 pins.
3) No matter what the result of the bowl is, we will drop to the floor and do an old school backspin. This crucial move should serve to speed the earth's rotation just enough to eliminate the need for leap seconds in the future.
4) Photo and/or video evidence will be provided both of the pins left standing after the bowl, and of the subsequent backspin.

**NOTE** It has been brought to our attention that a full rack of bowling pins contains 10, not 12 pins. It seems that while our math is infallible when it comes to complex equations, mere double digit integers sometimes fall through the cracks.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gibson Honoured In Western Australia

Honouring a Gibson who walked so tall was no mean feat. Aside from all the usual logistics involved in our challenges, I knew that plant, toy and location selection would be paramount. Thankfully, plant selection was carried out by my mother - Leptospermum scoparium 'An evergreen, medium sized shrub with [fittingly] an upright habit.'

An ideal location was found in the form of a little native garden adjoined Robertson Park in Northbridge, W.A. - a popular dog walking thoroughfare - where I undertook planting just before 0100 GMT (0900 Perth time).

The ball selected for the job cost a princely $2 from one of those stores where everything's from China. It features images of tasty bones and dogs of all varieties, which are raised from the ball in relief. This not only adds aesthetic value, but also ensures that an owner's hand may remain relatively slobber free after an extensive fetch session. The squeak was a little shrill, but satisfactory.

At the prescribed hour, I stood on my toes and gave 3 squeaks in Gibson's honour. As I had no photographic assistant, I had to take the photo myself during the first squeak, so you'll just have to trust that I was on my toes (note the legs bent at the knees to compensate for camera weight). A passing dog walker stopped to give me a strange look, but her pooch seemed to sense what was going on and lingered to add some fertilizer to a nearby plant. Following the event, a strange old lady asked from over her fence what I was doing. I replied 'I'm just doing it for Gibson.' She stared at me.

Owing to the harsh light, this photo of the plant in situ is a little unclear. However, it does give you an idea of the marvelous environs in which the event took place. I left the ball for a passing pooch and set out for home.

Gibson was a giant amongst giants. His passing is a blow to Gibsons everywhere and he will be missed. Hopefully his Australian plant will flourish. Next time I'm back in Western Australia, I will post a special update on its progress.

What A Squeak It Was

Under threatening skies on this warm late summer evening my wife/photographer, my 8 year old lab/shepherd mix, and I marched to the park about a half block away carrying a spade, a Blue Holly bush and a white bucket full of water. We found a perfect spot for the holly in a secluded area of the park that is landscaped with lots of native trees and perennials. After planting and watering the bush we had time to spare and milled about trying not to look suspicious.

As the first sprinkles of rain began to fall I raised the squeak toy to the sky and at precisely 18:08 PST went onto my tiptoes next to the holly and sent a piercing squeak up to the heavens. Surely some of the children and parents at the park wondered what we were doing tucked away in the bushes squeaking a dog toy and taking pictures, but to hell with them! This was for Gibson, Gibson and Gibson. This was for all Gibsons who are not lame. This was for tall dogs and tall people and the environment. This was for air — sweet, sweet air like the stuff that we breathe.

And then, in a flash, we were gone leaving the bright plastic squeaky toy next to the newly planted holly.
Somewhere a gigantic Great Dane is slobbering.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Fallen Comrade

Greetings, friends, followers and cyber-stalkers,

As you may have guessed, our last challenge successfully extinguished the Supervolcano which has most certainly resulted in a profound improvement in your day to day life. But before you get too comfortable, allow us to direct your attention to an unfortunate event that set off alarms in both hemispheres. We're sad to report that Gibson, the world's tallest dog, has passed on.

Needless to say, this is a blow to the Gibson dynamic. While the two of us have done our part for mankind, Gibson the hound was doing his part for both man and man's best friend. So, in the spirit of this great Gibson, it is our privilege and duty to execute this tribute/challenge.

Here are the details:

1. Purchase a cheap plastic squeaking dog toy and a native sapling or small bush.
2. Plant the bush or sapling in a public area.
3. At precisely 1:08 GMT on Saturday, August 29th squeak the dog toy three times while standing on tiptoes next to the plant.
4. Leave the toy next to the plant.
5. Record the event with a photograph taken during the first squeak.

If all goes according to plan this will not only be a fitting tribute to our houndly namesake, but a vital adjustment to oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the Earth's atmosphere.

RIP Gibson. It was an honor to share a name with you.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

SUCCESS in the US!

My focus was keen, my resolve unwavering. This time I was not to be denied. After my bus fiasco and the kangaroo balls blunder I was eager to get back on track with this difficult and important mission.

As Gibson-OZ alluded, walking on ice was an experience I shall not soon forget. As you can see from the wince on my face, the first thirty seconds were extremely uncomfortable. However the pain slowly subsided into numbness by the time I set the strawberry popsicle in the hole.

Just in case our mission went awry, causing the Supervolcano to erupt, I wore a Mount St. Helens Observer Hat that I found at a thrift store long ago. It folds up into a convenient pouch with strap that you can wear around your neck when not in use. You can never be too careful.

At precisely 18:35 on Friday the 24th, I began the agonizing walk toward the 12" deep hole. At exactly 18:36 I placed the strawberry popsicle (addressed to the Supervolcano) in the hole and by 18:40 the burial was complete and the mission accomplished! I did stand on the ice for the entire burial process, but it wasn't that bad since I'd lost all sensation in my feet by then. Fortunately, it wasn't long before my feet recovered and I could finally bask in the deep satisfaction of knowing that I had done my part to thwart the potential devastation of the Supervolcano!

As the popsicles make their way into the earth’s core to cool the magma of the Supervolcano, I hope that you can rest a bit easier as well.

Southern Popsicle Deployed!

Attention, anyone who has ever walked over hot are a pussy!

As hot coals cool, they develop a layer of ash over the surface which acts as a barrier between your bare foot and the glowing ember.

There is no such insulating layer on a bed of ice.

I took on board this startling phenomenon at 1135 AEST this morning when my bare feet (soft and pale from a winter spent inside ugg boots) first touched the path of ice layed down for this most important of missions. Holy crap, that stuff is cold - freezing, even!

However, having prepared my chocolate popsicle stick in the manner perscribed, and having dug a hole in the side yard (a task made slightly difficult given that some previous yard worker had obviously chosen the exact spot to bury a bunch of building waste), my resolve was concrete.

Every step brought more unpleasant sensation to my tootsies, but at 1136, when the popsicle was dropped into the earth and the first shovel load of dirt was dropped on it, the relief of having done my bit to save the continental United States overrode all discomfort.

Farewell, Super Volcano!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Question Of Timing

It could have been a glitch in the space/time continuum, it could have been the effect of a solar flare on the thermosphere, or it could have been the fact that Gibson-OZ forgot that he was already scheduled to be entertaining 100 children while dressed as a rat. Whichever way you look at it, the date for this next challenge has been moved from 0135 GMT on Saturday, July 18th to 0135 GMT on Saturday, July 25th.

Apologies to those who were delaying plans based on this very important event.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Third Time Lucky - Journey To The Centre Of The Earth.

While it has been a frustrating two months, we feel we have pinpointed the magnetotelluric problem that has been wreaking havoc with Gibson-US's calculations, causing him to fumble the last two missions. Many of you, and especially those in the greater Seattle area, will no doubt have heard whisperings based on the findings of a study that indicates a possibility that a massive Supervolcano (no, not that one or that one) may be brewing far below the remains of Mt. St Helens. While this study does have its skeptics, the Gibsons are taking no chances and have decided that our latest mission must guarantee the neutralisation of the Washington Supervolcano, so that the hard work of Gibson-US does not continue in vain.

It is clear to us that a coordinated, two pronged cooling attack on the Supervolcano must be enacted if we are not only to guarantee the safety of the Western United States (oh, and Western Canada too), but also the world at large. We have therefore calculated that the Gibsons must execute the following:

1) Dig a hole approximately 1ft (30.48cm) deep
2) Lay a path to the hole using the contents of two store bought bags of ice
3) Address a popsicle (Chocolate for Gibson-OZ, Strawberry for Gibson-US) on the stick to the Supervolcano, noting the sender on the other side of the stick
4) At precisely 0135 GMT on Saturday, July 18th (1835 on Friday for Gibson -US and 1135 on Saturday for Gibson-OZ), we will begin walking barefoot down our respective ice paths.
5) At precisely 0136 GMT we will drop our popsicles into the hole and begin burying them.
6) Burial must be completed by 0140 GMT.
7) Photographic evidence will be provided for a) walking the path with our shovels b) the first shovel load of dirt falling on the popsicle.

We are sure you will agree that this is a rather complex mission. However, we simply cannot risk more future failed missions, and our data indicates this to be the only guaranteed course of action.

Wish us luck.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Our Data Was Inaccurate!

While the additional effort of the Bondi Three seems to have helped to keep the two hemispheres of the Earth joined (perhaps owing to the fact that 2 of the 3 participants were in fact born in the Northern hemisphere), a startling development has come to light which explains the Gibsons' past two failed missions.

It seems as though there may be a Supervolcano brewing just miles from Seattle, Wa! Clearly, this buildup of magma and water has, like an unbalanced load in a washing machine, skewed our formulae and rendered the last two missions unsuccessful. While the business of keeping the world in alignment is a fluid science and we must always be recalibrating our data, we sincerely appologise for not taking this massive subterranean threat into account.

Rest assured that, as you read this, we are bent over our maps, T-squares and aged rum and are tirelessly working towards a solution.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Strike Two

You'd think that this would be easy. That a reasonably responsible person would be able to execute these tasks with no trouble whatsoever. Apparently, I am not a reasonably responsible person. For the second time in a row I was not able to complete the challenge as assigned.

The making of the Mike was fine, although I did run into a snag with crushed ice as well. The recipe we posted calls for 1 oz. of ice in the top layer. One ounce seemed like an extremely small amount of ice so I did some more research and discovered that the correct measurement is 1 cup of ice! This sent me into a semi-panic as I considered the potential global impact of this crushed ice conundrum. I managed to forge ahead, however, and completed the cocktail with the proper amount of crushed ice with about one minute and 30 seconds until drinking time. At precisely 15:00 PST I took my first sip while sitting out on our gloriously sunny deck. All was well in the world, right? Wrong.

Upon closer inspection of the photo you'll notice that my non-drinking hand is dangling off the arm of the chair, completely oblivious to the fact that it had failed in the modest task which was its charge. WHERE IS THE THING THAT REPRESENTS THE COUNTRY OF THE OTHER GIBSON? Well, I'll tell you where it was. It was sitting on the corner of my bar downstairs. A gorgeous kangaroo scrotum bottle opener, forgotten in the mad rush to get upstairs.

As it turns out, this error was not as grievous as the bus mishap. Our data indicates that the hemispheres have been realigned and directional magnetism has been adjusted. However, until I manage to complete one of these challenges accurately you may notice a nagging sense of malaise and sporadic malfunction in garage door openers. I hope this doesn't inconvenience you too much and I eagerly await the next challenge so that I may attempt to redeem myself for the second time.

NEWS FLASH... Early Signs Indicate Global Success

In a startling mid-morning development, it appears as though our efforts may have been successful.

Despite not having yet received an official report from Gibson-US, a remarkable event has taken place in Bondi, Australia which points to a positive global result.

Following the 0800 Molokai Mike, I was joined by 2 friends - one from New Zealand, one from the United Kingdom - and a round of Pina Coladas was consumed in front of the house at 1030 AEST. Despite the cold temperature and impending rain, the trio enjoyed the rumcoconutty goodness while wearing festive attire and listening to Les Baxter.

A couple of jubilent passers by also stopped to soak up the relaxed vibe.

We are taking this as a sign that the hemispheres have achieved true alignment once again.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Success in Sydney.

When the fate of humanity rests in your hands, you sometimes have to dig a little deeper. And by 'a little deeper' I mean getting up at 0700 on a Sunday morning in winter in order to make and drink a layered cocktail.

Don't get me wrong, the hurdles I had to jump over for the successful completion of this challenge were not so much mental - after all, who hasn't secretly wanted to drink a cocktail in the morning once or twice - but rather physical. The bed was warm, the fog of the previous night was settled like a fine, fuzzy dew across my tongue, and I knew I didn't have the right kind of glass for a Molokai Mike. But if the Gibson vs. Gibson experience has shown me anything, it's that the satisfaction of a successfully completed mission brings a kind of relaxation and bliss regularly only experienced by Buddhist monks and people patting really cute puppies.

With all ingredients gathered and with a glass of hot water and lemon juice in hand to flush the liver and line the gut, I began the cocktail assembly at approximately 0735 AEST. My major stumbling block was the crushing of ice - both food processor and blender failed me - until I remembered my 60s Ice-O-Matic manual ice crusher. Thank goodness for this piece of chrome and plastic excellence. It shaved the ice down to a size manageable for the blender.

But the ice wasn't the only thing I was cutting fine. At 0758, with just 2 minutes left before the allotted time, the cocktail was finally assembled (with slightly dubious layering, it has to be said) and I hurried outside to assume the position. In my non-drinking hand, I chose to hold the souvenir Head-O-State, representing America's fascination with sex and politics. At 0800, I imbibed the Molokai Mike and as the layers merged in my belly and my photographer snapped the moment, I felt at one with Gibson-US and with the world at large. However, this feeling quickly passed and I was left merely with a compulsion to go back into the heated house.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Problem with Pudding & The Next Assignment

In my debriefing with Gibson-OZ a pudding problem was exposed. It appears that the silky, custard-like dessert we Americans call pudding takes on a completely different form in the land down under. This culinary inconsistency proved to be the catalyst for catastrophe. When Gibson-OZ and I made two different puddings it threw the world into turmoil. Specifically, it set off a series of events leading to an unreliable bus schedule in Seattle on that fateful day. So what we have learned is: Never underestimate the power of pudding. Study and learn the differences (US Pudding vs. OZ Pudding) – you'll be glad you did.

Unfortunately, this pudding snafu has had consequences more dire than we originally thought. Our charts indicate that if we don't fix the directional magnetism of the universe there is potential that our two hemispheres will separate, revealing the earth's core and the lizard people that live within.

Please don't panic. We have a plan.

At precisely 22:00 GMT on Saturday, June 13th* we will simultaneously execute the following task: drink a two-hemisphered cocktail called the Molokai Mike while sitting outside of our residences holding something representative of the other Gibson's country in our non-drinking hand. As the two halves of the cocktail merge into a warmth in our stomachs you should notice a slight pressure release as the universe settles back into harmony. A full report with photographic documentation of the preparation and consumption of the cocktail will be provided for posterity. Feel free to raise a glass yourselves in celebration of the earth remaining a solitary mass.

* Please note that Gibson-OZ will be drinking his cocktail at 8:00 in the morning Australia time on Sunday, June 14th — a testament to his dedication to this noble cause.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Apology to Humankind

Dear Humankind,

At precisely 17:01 PST on Saturday May 30th I was not on a bus. I had vanilla pudding. I had a spoon. My wife was ready with the camera and we stood helpless, waiting at the bus stop. As the time drew near we frantically discussed the options and the potential ramifications and decided that the best course of action was to take my picture eating the pudding as I walked backwards towards the South. When the bus finally did come (10 minutes late) we quickly climbed aboard and executed the required task at 17:04 and 8 seconds. This 3 minute and 8 second time lag has certainly had a negative affect on directional magnetism. Please adjust your compasses accordingly.

It's tempting to blame the Seattle Metro system and be done with it, however I must take some responsibility. At about 16:45 PST I made a decision I will regret for the rest of my life. In a moment of pure foolishness I elected not to board the previous bus and thus let the fate of the universe hinge on the precision of the Seattle Metro. Any of you who have ridden the bus know that this was not a good idea. Fortunately, it appears that my mistake has not caused any permanent damage. According to my calculations, we were able to partially realign the magnetic anomaly, however you may notice a slight pull towards the south and some GPS glitches in certain rural areas. Don't fret though. Gibson-OZ and I will be in contact soon to figure out a way to get things back on track.

Regarding the vanilla pudding -- good consistency, no lumps, delicious.

Once again, I apologize for this unfortunate situation. I will do everything in power to never let it happen again.

Until next time,

Southern Hemisphere Saved!

Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but the same cannot be said for chocolate pudding.

Anticipation got the best of me on the night of Saturday, May 30 AEST and after several steadying glasses of wine, I decided to pre-prepare my pudding. All went smoothly and the end result was simply stunning - a moist, fluffy specimen which filled the kitchen with the wonderful smell of cocoa and melted dark chocolate. In a gesture of solidarity with Gibson US, I even wore my Pike Place Markets apron for the occasion.

However, in the cold light of the wintery Sydney sun, the pudding looked very much like I felt - flat, cold and crusty. In an attempt to recapture a fraction of its former glory, I returned the pudding to the oven on a low heat. This had an effect similar to placing a dead bird in the sun for an hour. Still, I resolved to take a bullet to my tastebuds and in the interests of global safety, placed a portion of the once proud pudding in a container and set out for the bus stop at 0925 AEST on Sunday, May 31.

The 333 is a fine bus route. Departing from the beach in Bondi, it travels west through Paddington, down the famous Oxford Street and then strikes north to enter Sydney city. At 1001, the 333 had entered the northern section of its journey and I was able to take a bite of the lukewarm chocolate pudding upon which the fate of the word rested. My accomplice, shaking as a result of the excitement of the moment, managed to snap a record of the moment.

The other passengers on the 333 remained blissfully unaware of the magnitude of the morning's event, as did the man in the background of this photo who, despite working in the cold of the morning, inexplicably elected to wear only a polo shirt.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pudding and Magnets: An Unlikely Threat!

In 1904, British physicist J.J. Thompson proposed what has since become known as the Plum Pudding Model of the atom. Though this model was thought to have been disproved in 1911, we have recently uncovered disturbing evidence indicating that all may not be as it has seemed.

Acting under advice from NASA and the National Institute for Theoretical Physics, we are unable to state full details at this stage. However, we can reveal that a magnetic anomaly at the atomic level threatens to wreak global havoc if not corrected soon.

Considering that plums are out of season in both Australia and the U.S., we have opted to enact the hitherto theoretical Chocolate/Vanilla Pudding Paradox to combat this molecular menace. In layman's terms, the Paradox works like this:

* Both Gibsons prepare a home-made pudding. Gibson-US makes a vanilla pudding, Gibson-OZ makes a chocolate pudding.
* At precisely 0001 on Sunday, May 31st GMT the Gibsons must consume their puddings on public busses. Gibson-US must be traveling south, Gibson-OZ must be traveling north.
* If all goes according to plan, the anomaly will be neutralised and life will continue uninterrupted.

As usual, we will provide photographic evidence and a mission report for posterity (assuming, of course, that communication is still possible).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Success in Medewi. Reportage delayed.

Firstly, apologies for the late posting. There is no internet in Medewi, Indonesia, and I had to wait until my return to Kuta to post.

Although you wouldn't tell from the half-foot wave breaking in the background, the surf was pretty amazing at 0732 WITA on the appointed day. As a result, the hardest part of completing this challenge was resisting the temptation to pick up my board and head out for a session. The second hardest part was explaining to the Indonesian cow farmer the reasoning behind my wanting him to wait until a certain moment before taking my picture. Luckily for everyone, the language barriers were somewhat overcome and by taking the picture, the farmer unknowingly became part of the catalyst for economic recovery in the world (actually, he was an immediate beneficiary when I pressed some rupiah into his hand as thanks).

The cow seemed to sense that history was in the making and turned to face me as the photo was taken. It was wearing a handsome blue handmade bell.

The item I am holding is a deck of Indonesian playing cards (I'll post a detailed view later) which I purchased the previous day for 15,000 rupiah - about A$1.90/US$1.40 from the little bamboo shop owned by the family of Putu, the local surfboard repairer. The cards are a low-to-mid range quality cardboard with a decent slip and feature a traditional looking design versa. There are 3 jokers in the deck. Later in the night they were used by myself, my 2 Australian travelling companions, 3 Israelis, 1 Belgian and 2 Indonesian Muslims to play a card game - proving that not only did the challenge help the economic recovery, but also (as an unexpected side effect) aided in improving Jewish/Muslim relations.

There was no pre-meditation involved in my having worn the same hat and sunglasses as in last month's challenge.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Report From Oaxaca

Well, it wasn't easy, but as you can see from the photo above I was successful in completing my half of the mission. The souvenir I procured is right up there with some of the worst I've seen. I've included a close-up to give you some idea of just how horrendous it truly is. It's a pen featuring a stereotypical Mexican figure sucking down a shot glass of Mezcal. Notice the distended belly and pumpkin head of the figure and the crude carving of the word Oaxaca that reads from bottom to top. I paid 20 pesos for it, which comes out to about $1.50 US or $2.10 Australian dollars.

The photo was taken at exactly 6:32pm CDT outside of the Santo Domingo cathedral in Oaxaca City. Being Good Friday, we were among the throngs of people gathered to witness the big processional. With about 10 minutes until the appointed time, I began scanning the crowd for animals of any kind. Things were looking grim until I walked around the church and saw a couple relaxing on a curb with their dog. Would they stay long enough? My photographer/wife framed the shot and we waited for an anxious five minutes. Literally seconds after the shot was taken, they stood up and walked away. Whew! Disaster averted!

Immediately after the picture was taken I noticed that many people were purchasing things. I assume that this is a direct result of the effect of GvsG on the global economy. Those that witnessed my strange one-legged pose may have thought it silly… if only they'd known how important it actually was.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mark Your Calendars!

After pouring over our data and crunching the numbers, it is clear to us that the next mission must take place on Friday, April 10, 2009, at precisely 23:32 GMT. This time, your intrepid heroes will venture to separate exotic locales in an effort to stabilize the global economy. OZ–Gibson will be traveling to a remote village on the island of Bali while US–Gibson will be on location in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The mission is twofold:
1) Purchase a particularly awful souvenir.
2) At precisely 23:32 GMT, pose with said souvenir while balancing on one leg (US–Gibson will stand on right leg, OZ–Gibson will stand on left leg) with an animal somewhere nearby.

As you can plainly see from the details above, if we succeed with our mission, the global economy should see immediate improvement.

Photographic documentation and a debriefing by the Gibsons will be posted on this blog as soon as they both can locate internet access. Note: OZ–Gibson might not be able to report on the status of his mission until a week or so after the event.

Thanks for your support.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Safe for now, but there's more trouble brewing...

Well, folks, it looks like our first mission was a success and that equilibrium has been restored to the planet. And while this is cause for some celebration, our data seems to indicate that another anomaly threatens to warp the space/time continuum in the not-too-distant future...perhaps as early as early April.

Stay alert, not alarmed, but mostly stay tuned.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mission Accomplished: Seattle, WA

Weather was ugly all day — temperatures around 40º F (4.4º C) with a mixture of snow and rain. After toweling off the seat and trying out some test shots, a group of rogue youngsters appeared and attempted to hijack my dry swing. Fortunately they relinquished control when I explained the urgency of the situation.

At exactly 4:29:59 pm PST, I launched awkwardly, but managed to land upright without injury to myself or any of the spectators. Upon landing, I could immediately tell that things seemed better aligned (in both my spine and the universe). The rain/snow even held off for the event, as if nature herself was aware that something of great significance was underway.

Sure, I missed the end of the UW Huskies game, but that's the kind of sacrifice I'll have to make in order to keep mankind safe from all sorts of catastrophic imbalances in the universe!

Successful Launch in W.A.

Although it was difficult to get out of bed before 9 on a Sunday morning, we made it down to Hyde Park in Perth and staked a claim on the only adult-height swing in the joint.

The countdown to launch was quite tense, especially given that wayward children kept sniffing around the swings and threatening to cross the landing area.

As the countdown reached 10 seconds, I began gaining thrust and released my grip at T-minus 1 (09:29:59 WDT). My photographer began rapid fire snapping and a fine moment was captured.

The southern hemisphere is safe for now.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Challenge Begins!

The first task to be performed and documented by the Gibsons is set to take place on Sunday, March 8, 2009, 0030 GMT.

Attempting to realign a slight gravitational glitch, the Gibsons will simultaneously launch themselves from park swings; one in Seattle, WA, one in Perth, W.A.

Photographic documentation and a debriefing by the Gibsons will be posted on this blog soon after the event.